» 12/20/2012, 00.00
As thousands of pilgrims visit Bethlehem for Christmas, the Christian exodus continues
Israel's Tourism Minister expects 75,000 visitors for Christmas. Huge crowds have been lining up at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity to visit the grotto. Muslims and Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus together. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict becomes increasingly religious, with local Christian communities caught in between.
30/11/2005 HOLY LAND
Bethlehem's Christians appeal to all pilgrims to visit Nativity
The town where Jesus was born has become "an open-air prison" in which the number of Christians is ever dwindling. A new Israeli checkpoint makes it even harder to visit the town.
24/03/2005 ISRAEL PALESTINE HOLY LAND
Jerusalem: the Cross breaks down the wall of fear
A talk with Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Custodian of the Holy Land.
14/03/2006 Vatican - holy land
Vatican: "Presence of Christians in the Holy Land, fundamental for peace"
In a letter addressed to Catholic bishops worldwide for the traditional "pro Terra Sancta" collection, Cardinal Moussa I Daoud writes of an area which has been "the scene of decades-long conflict" and which is causing the "disturbing phenomenon" of the exodus of Christians.
04/05/2009 PALESTINE - VATICAN
Bethlehem: refugees await Pope to show him the Wall
Benedict XVI is due to visit the Aida refugee camp, where he will also meet Mahmoud Abbas. An exhibition on the situation of the Palestinian situation and a “key for his return”. In Bethlehem a Muslim calligraphist has written and decorated the Gospel of Saint Luke.
26/11/2004 ISRAEL - PALESTINE HOLY LAND
Israelis, Palestinians jointly invite pilgrims to come back to the Holy Land
Israeli and Palestinian Tourism Ministers thank the Pope for urging Christians to visit the Holy Places. Since 2000, the number of Christian pilgrims has dropped by half.
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